Here is a guesthouse (homestay) we have fond memories of. It’s called Jiuqiong B&B and is located in Shuili Township, Nantou County, which is in central Taiwan
The guesthouse is a few minutes south of Shuili town by car, a short drive uphill from Highway 21, taking you about a hundred meters above the Chenyoulan River bed. You’ll find yourself amidst a small, intimately-knit tea farming community that cannot be seen from the highway, hidden away behind tree cover. The families have been here multiple generations. The owner, quiet, friendly Chen Ming-cong, decided to build his simple, attractive cottage-style verandah-fronted guest rooms after long putting up eager tea-aficionado visitors in his own home who had come to buy up his tea the moment harvesting began – for which a set date is impossible to guarantee.
Chen gives guests a free edu-taste tour of Taiwan teas, and clearly enjoys the sessions as much as his visitors do. You can buy his processed tea to take home; he grows an Oolong/Assam hybrid developed at the important experimental station at Sun Moon Lake, higher in the hills to the northeast, set up by the Japanese when they ruled Taiwan (1895-1945). As well, be sure to walk the railway-tie stepped trail accessed right beside the homestay, which follows the edge of a narrow side valley, taking you through tea fields to dramatic suspension-bridge views over a small town, betelnut-tree stand, and sculpted terraces topped with neat tea-bush rows.
(Rooms start at NT$2,700; simple breakfast provided.)